Home Run Derby 2013: Players Who Will Thrive in Spotlight

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Home Run Derby 2013: Players Who Will Thrive in Spotlight
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It's the biggest event of MLB's All-Star festivities—the Home Run Derby is what everybody tunes in to see. 

Like slam dunks in basketball and long touchdown plays in football, most fans are far more interested in watching power hitters blast home runs than anything else baseball has to offer. 

Big plays do something special for us, and we can't get enough of the action. 

The 2013 Home Run Derby features some potent hitters from both leagues. Here's a quick look at the contestants, after which we'll take a closer look at the men who will have big showings on Monday, July 15, when the battle royale commences on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. 

 

National League

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies: .304/.369/.619, 24 HR, 63 RBI, 22 doubles (86 games)

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals: .281/.382/.551, 13 HR, 29 RBI, 7 doubles (52 games)

David Wright, 3B, New York Mets: .306/.394/.519, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 19 doubles (85 games)

Michael Cuddyer, OF, Colorado Rockies: .337/.392/.583, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 18 doubles (69 games)

 

American League

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: .317/.393/.705, 33 HR, 85 RBI, 26 doubles (88 games)

Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees: .293/.374/.526, 20 HR, 58 RBI, 17 doubles (88 games)

Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers: .264/.360/.457, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 21 doubles (87 games)

Yoenis Cespedes, LF, Oakland Athletics: .223/.287/.430, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 11 doubles (75 games) 

 

Men Who'll Thrive in the Spotlight

Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers

The defending champion, Fielder will undoubtedly show up in a big way in an attempt to repeat. 

This will be Fielder's fifth career appearance (fourth straight) in the celebrated event, and it's one he's won twice already—in 2009 and 2012. Fielder's 28 home runs in last year's derby ranks No. 5 on the all-time list, and he smashed 23 in his victory in 2009. 

Though the big man's power numbers are not red hot thus far during the regular season (15 home runs), he's always a player to watch in the derby. He seems to love the spotlight and won't fail to put on a show on Monday night for his fans.

 

Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles

Davis led all All-Star voting, according to Howie Rumberg of the AP (via the Washington Times), and it's not hard to see why.

Davis is having a career year, leading the league in home runs, slugging percentage and extra-base hits. At his current pace of 33 home runs through 88 games, Davis could put together a season of power hitting unlike any we've seen since before the steroid era.

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The young man is completely dialed in at the plate these days. Given the way he's been knocking balls out of the park against pitchers trying to get him out, it's hard to imagine he'll struggle against the softball-type pitches he'll see in the derby. 

 

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

Speaking of men who love the limelight...

After spending extended time on the disabled list recently, Harper returned to action on July 1 with a bang—literally. It only took two pitches for Harper to make his presence in the Nationals lineup known, as the phenom blasted a home run in his first at-bat. 

But if you've been following Harper throughout his young career, then you know he's the kind of man who thrives in the spotlight. He eats it up, and it seems like the bigger the stage he's on, the better he'll play. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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